Beijing (AsiaNews) - Four Chinese dissidents armed with a video camera defied Beijing's repression and beat police surveillance to meet Liu Xia, wife of jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, 53.
Ms Liu has been under house arrest in her flat on the outskirts of Beijing since October 2010 in violation of Chinese law, penalised by the fact that the Oslo Nobel Committee recognised her husband for his work in favour of democracy in China and in co-authoring Charter 08, a manifesto that calls on the Chinese government to fight corruption and open up the economy and political life to greater popular participation.
Echoing Charter 77, co-authored by Vaclav Havel, Charter 08 was signed by tens of thousands of ordinary Chinese as well as dissidents, activists and intellectuals. Eventually Liu Xiaobo was arrested in 2009 and sentenced to 11 years to a tough prison in northern China.
After a long preparation, the four activists eluded police surveillance on 28 December. Taking advantage of the changing of guards, they were able to speak to Ms Liu for a few minutes and tape the encounter.
In the video, Ms Liu looks emotionally shaken and scared. "You have to go, or they will come and bring trouble," she says at one point, speaking mostly in whispers in the ear of one of the activists.
After a few minutes, the activists left. They are anti-AIDS activist Hu Jia, blogger Liu Di, historian Xu Youyu and dissident Hao Jian.
Hu Jia, who has spent three years in prison for "subversion", and Xu Youyu are among the first to have signed the pro-democracy charter.
"The video is all about fear and anxiety," Hu said. Liu Xia "has already lost a lot of hope. The authorities are making her fearful. She is afraid that her family will come under pressure.
In an open letter to Chinese authorities, 134 Nobel Prize winners have called for Liu Xiaobo's release and justice in China.
According to various analysts, the video illustrates a rising tide of dissatisfaction among Chinese towards the authorities.
The tape shows the group pushing past a security guard, forcing their way through to the staircase before climbing to her flat, an action that could land them in jail.
Despite such dangers, many Chinese are taking risks to defy the authorities in order to change the regime, broaden freedom and establish the rule of law.
Beginning last November, China's leadership is changing its make-up with a fifth generation of leaders taking over, led by Xi Jinping who will complete his takeover in March.